Michael Clewley (c.1781-1853)

Michael Clewley married Elizabeth Goodwin (c.1791–c.1846), the daughter of Thomas Goodwin the elder of Trentham, Staffordshire. Over the next eighteen years Elizabeth gave birth to seven children: Thomas Mallabar (b.1816) who became a surgeon in Warwickshire, Mary (b.1817), Elizabeth Goodwin (1819–1833), Edward (1821–1832), Edna (June–July 1823), Susanna (b.1824), and Michael Hugh (1826–1850).

Like other Uttoxeter traders, Clewley was a man with multiple business interests and civic responsibilities. Trade directories list him as an ironmonger in High Street (1818) and as a grocer, tea dealer and proprietor of the stamp office (1828). At the end of May 1831 he invoiced the parish overseers for £3 8s 8½d for grocery goods including blue, ginger, tea and tobacco. According to the 1832 Poor Rate Assessment, in addition a house in Carter Street, he was leasing cottages, and a malthouse. He served as a jury member at Stafford Quarter sessions in 1821.

In January 1831 Michael Clewley and Mr Bladon (churchwardens) placed a notice in the Staffordshire Advertiser. They wanted to borrow money in any amounts but not exceeding £1,000 for which annuities of any age would be granted and secured upon Uttoxeter’s church rates. This appears to have been a very unusual move.

In August 1831 Clewley was offering houses to let in the Market Place, late in the occupation of Mrs E. Clewley deceased. With ‘sufficient buildings behind’, these were well adapted for a retailer, a leather cutter, or currier. An adjoining shop in the occupation of George Burton, clock and watchmaker was also being offered to let

Within a bill for a large number of services submitted to the parish overseers by solicitors Bedson and Rushton Michael Clewley crops up again. On 29 April 1833 the solicitors had written to Clewley requesting payment of a debt for bricks totalling 3s 6d supplied by the workhouse. The following month on 18 May Bedson and Rushton drew up a notice of vestry meeting to be held on 24 May regarding the brick bill. Clewley was refusing to pay. On the day before the meeting Bedson and Rushton interviewed witnesses regarding Clewley and the brick bill so that they could report the particulars at the meeting. The solicitors attended vestry meeting, drew up resolutions demanding that Clewley paid up. He did so.

As part of the Clewley-Goodwin marriage settlement Clewley gained an interest in the White Hart and New Star Inn in Carter Street. Initially, this was run by Clewley in partnership with Esther Wilkinson under Wilkinson’s name. The partnership was dissolved by mutual consent in March 1844 with Wilkinson retiring from the business on account of ill health. All debts from the business were to be received and paid by Clewley who continued the business.

In 1840 the Goodwin family brought a case against Clewley over the latter’s lending of trust money without their consent and without proper security. Clewley had, in fact, agreed to loan money on a declaration by the borrower to raise the money. The court found in favour of the Goodwins.

By the time of the 1841 Census Michael’s and Elizabeth’s children Mary and Susanna were living with their parents alongside domestic servant Dorothy Deakin and washerwoman Elizabeth Blood. A decade later, Michael was a widower living in Balance Street with his daughter Susanna and a servant Mary May.


1841 Census, HO 107/1007/14

1851 Census HO107/2010

London Gazette, June 1844, p.2275

W. Parson and T. Bradshaw, Staffordshire General and Commercial Directory presenting an Alphabetical Arrangement of the Names and Residences of the Nobility, Gentry, Merchants and Inhabitants in General (Manchester: 1818)

Pigot and Co., National Commercial Directory [Part 2: Nottinghamshire–Yorkshire and North Wales] for 1828–29 (London and Manchester: J. Pigot and Co., 1828).

SRO, D4452/1/15/2/11, Settlement by Lease and Release of a Moiety of the White Hart and Star Inn, Uttoxeter, previous to the marriage of Elizabeth Goodwin and Michael Clewley, 25 May 1815.

SRO, D3891/6/70, Poor Rate Assessment, Uttoxeter, 1832

SRO, D3891/6/41/7/75b various dates 1833, bill for legal services submitted to Uttoxeter Overseer by solicitors Bedson and Rushton

SRO, D4452/1/15/2/17, Mortgage of a Moiety of the White Hart Inn, Uttoxeter, 23 March 1850

SRO, Q/RJr/1821, Quarter Sessions

Staffordshire Advertiser, , 1831, 22 June 1850

  1. Sweet, The Jurist, vol 3, 1840


N.B. This biography is a work in progress and will probably be amended as further information from vouchers and other sources becomes available.

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